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We believe that learning to code consists of much more than just the materials we provide and the curriculum we've created. We currently use a mixture of workshops, exercises, projects, classroom break-out sessions and end-of-week challenges to help our students understand programming. The immersive environment, having expert coaches on hand all day and pairing with other students are all key to our educational process.
Coding is more than syntax. The best developers see themselves as Artisans.
We prefer code written in pairs over code written by lone-wolves.
Doing it right and going a little slower is always better than moving fast and ignoring best practice.
You can read about riding a bike 'til the cows come home; unless you actually try riding one, you're unlikely to be competing in the Tour de France any time soon.
It doesn't matter how much you pay a personal trainer - you still have to do the squats! As with training, so with learning.
You have to be well to learn well, so we encourage our students to take care of their health - through yoga, meditation and keeping fit.
Students relate to what they did the day before, what they're planning on doing today, where they got stuck, and how they got unstuck. Lots of clapping and feel-goods.
Students are introduced to key programming skills in isolation, and then given room to practice and feed back in a group setting. This is a chance to have a coach demo some stuff, or visualise things using a board.
Students pair with each other throughout the morning, building real stuff using tools and practices we’d expect from a professional junior developer.
Our cohorts tend to lunch together. Generally they like to go out in droves to one of Shoreditch’s fine local eateries and there's often a lunchtime talk from one of the many CTOs that our hiring team speak to!
Programming is extremely challenging. Meditation helps keep a lid on things, keeps you grounded, and helps keep your brain sharp.
The afternoon is spent pair programming, as students work through the challenges or projects provided in the curriculum.
A pecha kucha night, a trip to a software craftsmanship meetup at Yammer, a hosted event, or a film night...we love to organise stuff to keep our students social bar topped up.
In the four weeks preceding the full-time course, you are required to complete a mandatory, part-time PreCourse from home. This will ensure that you get to the required level of coding knowledge before starting full time. In the first week, you focus on the foundations: first, the command-line, which is key to navigating around your computer; second, you'll tackle version control using Git and Github. This is followed by learning Ruby syntax through challenges over 3 weeks, culminating in building your Github CV for the start of your coding journey. The PreCourse requires at least 20 hours per week to complete successfully, but the more time you can spend on the PreCourse, the better.
The main topics of week 1 are test driven development and object oriented programming. By now, you'll have some experience writing pure Ruby code and are familiar with the functionality of core Ruby classes. This week you start creating your own classes in a test driven way. The aim of this week is to understand how to structure code using objects. You'll also meet the careers team who will be helping you get jobs at the end of the course. Weekend challenges are completed each week to reflect and consolidate the learning from the previous week.
This week, you'll work to reinforce and deepen your understanding of test driven development and object oriented programming. You will learn techniques for designing, programming and refactoring object oriented code. These techniques help you write code that is easy to read, change and maintain.
By now, you should be comfortable using Ruby and writing object oriented code in a test driven way. In week 3 you'll focus on the fundamentals of the web: HTTP protocols, the Sinatra framework, HTML & CSS. You also learn how to deploy our code to Heroku and use the development tools in Google Chrome. Finally, you'll also learn how to use Capybara to test drive web applications. This week is usually a popular one, as you're finally able to deploy a working application to the web.
It's time to learn how to add a relational database to a Sinatra application using DataMapper. In this week you look at relational databases, key-value stores and SQL. You'll also spend a lot of time discussing proper management of user accounts along with hashing and salting, choosing appropriate hashing algorithms and mitigating common security risks. You'll write a user management system (sign up, sign in, sign out, etc) from scratch, paying special attention to the security aspects. This is an important milestone as you'll now have a full picture of web development.
This week is all about teamwork as you're introduced to some techniques and practices common in an Agile or XP workplace. Working on a set project in small groups, you'll learn to master Git workflow, QA, Standups/Scrums, Kanban and pair programming in a team environment. This is also a great opportunity to practise and consolidate the skills and concepts learned in previous weeks. This week you'll also start working with the careers team so you can start planning your job hunting strategy.
This week you consolidate your learning by building a full-stack project using everything you've learnt from the previous weeks. Agile, Git workflow, User Stories, and teamwork are revisited in another team based project. Part of your learning this week will also include some advanced job hunter techniques.
This week you get back to pure object oriented design with a series of individual challenges designed to stretch your understanding of techniques for OOD. This week will reinforce behaviours like testing first, using enough design upfront and using the XP values to guide your behaviour as a developer. The challenges this week will be undertaken individually, and are designed to mimic technical tests commonly used by employers as part of the recruitment process. You'll also start practicing technical interviews and networking.
By now you're a confident Junior Developer. To put your skills to the test, you'll build a final project that shows how far you've come since you started. This week a fewer new topics are introduced and instead you focus on building the first version of your final project.
Early in the week is a feature freeze to make sure the final projects are as polished as possible. This is the most intensive week at Makers Academy, when all teams stay late trying to outperform each other to write the most impressive, test driven and clean code. Friday our careers team will put on a job hunting fair in the morning where our hiring partners will be showcasing their job vacancies followed by you giving your final project demo's. The evening will be a party attended by friends, families, hiring partners, recruiters, ex-students and prospective students of Makers Academy.
|PreCourse Start||Onsite Start||Jobhunting Start|
|23 October 2017||20 November 2017||16 February 2018|
|20 November 2017||3 January 2018||16 March 2018|
|18 December 2017||22 January 2018||13 April 2018|
|22 January 2018||19 February 2018||11 May 2018|
|19 February 2018||19 March 2018||8 June 2018|
Note: For the Dec 2017 Cohort (PreCourse start 20 Nov 2017) we’ll be piloting the new & improved curriculum.
We run cohorts every 4 weeks and applications are highly competitive. Apply early to avoid disappointment.